Cherokee Animal Legends and Vacuum Tales in Radford near The Blue Ridge Parkway


My Artwork


bueridgemistcopyrightBlue Ridge Mist    Original 12″x16″  Oil Painting     $384

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART

LiatrisflowersLiatris Flowers at Doughton Park    Original 30″x40″ Oil Painting  $2425

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at KENDALL KESSLER ART


pawleyswaterwaycopyrightNear Pawleys Island    Original 11″x14″ Oil Painting     $313

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART


I still have Pawleys Island on my mind!  After I do some more shore scenes I will be getting back to large Blue Ridge Vistas!


I have put up a number of blogs on the Cherokee Native American legends about the Black Bear in The Blue Ridge Mountains and today I came across some other legends regarding other animals!  Interesting stuff!

Cherokee Animal Legends

The primeval animals are thought to have been larger and stronger than their present day descendants.

The rabbit is the most prominent animal in their myths.   It is a trickster and considered to be malicious.  It is often beaten at its own game by those it intends to victimize.  Ball players are forbidden to eat rabbits when they are in training because this animal seems to be so confused when it runs.

The meat of the common grey squirrel is forbidden to rheumatic patients because of the cramped position it assumes while eating.

The deer won its horns in a successful race with the rabbit.

The wolf is revered as a hunter and Cherokees abstain from killing it if they can avoid it.  They believe a relative of the slain wolf will seek out the hunter and kill him.

The odor of the skunk is believed to keep off contagious diseases.


I found this information on the online publication, First People , The Legends


Life with The Word and Bird Man- Clyde Kessler

Over the years my husband and I have had a lot of trouble with vacuum cleaners.  I try to be very careful not to pick up anything that will break it but I seem to manage to break them anyway.  Either that, or they just break to spite me.

I am practically putting my head to the rug to check for objects since we bought a new one a while back.  It is under warranty and I have the box and everything in it.  This one will be replaced if something goes wrong.

The other day I was vacuuming our bedroom and my husband was standing nearby.

I said I checked and I didn’t see any stupid thing  on the floor.

He said he was standing on the rug but he didn’t think that would be a problem.  I didn’t mean him!  He is always there with a word quip!  Keeps me laughing!

The Black Bear in History and Break a Leg! Life in Radford near The Blue Ridge Parkway

My Artwork

heroncopyrightEgret Reflection    Original Oil Painting has been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

heroncovecopyrightHeron’s Cove  Original    20″x30″    Pastel Painting    $1230

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

The Black Bear

I have been blogging about Cherokee legends regarding the black bear so I thought it would be interesting to write about the influence of the black bear on other cultures.  The Cherokees are not the only people that believe the black bear possesses healing powers.

This trait is said to be known by many cultures and it is believed this notion originated in the paleolithic period. The Ancient Greeks associated Artemis with the bear because of its self-healing properties.

There are many plants that are considered to be medicinal with bear in the name such as bear root and bear clover.

Some cultures believe so strongly in the bear’s medicinal properties that the bear population is threatened by over demand.  China has bear farms but also poaches bears in the United States and Canada.

Now that the bear is making a comeback in its natural habitat it is in danger from poachers.

I found this information on the online publication, Interesting Facts.

Break a Leg

Yesterday I had my regular eye check-up here in Radford.  My doctor works out of two offices.  He is in Radford for two days and in Salem for the rest of the week.  Needless to say, his office usually has many patients.

Yesterday they were especially busy.  When the assistant got to me she said, “Welcome to the Mad House!”

A few minutes later I heard another assistant say they were so busy she needed roller skates so she could break a leg and go home!

Now, that is one way out of work!

Life with The Bird and Word Man  –  Clyde Kessler

I wanted to again remind folks of the next Blue Ridge Discovery Center event this Friday!


BRDC at Independence Farmers Market
Fri, June 6, 9:30am – 12:30pm
BRDC Web Calendar
Created by
More kid events.

Mountain Bear Man near The Blue Ridge Parkway and Blue Ridge Discovery Center Happenings!

My Artwork


blueridgemeadowcopyrightBlue Ridge Meadow  Original Oil Painting has been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART

The great Charlottesville patron that recently bought Blue Ridge Meadow emailed me to tell me it is stunningly beautiful!  Now that is what an artist that sells paintings online wants to hear!

 dirtroadbrcopyrightRoad to the Blue Ridge    Original 18″x24″  pastel painting   $862

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART

Wish I were on that road right now!

Here is another fascinating legend about the Cherokee Native Americans and the Black Bear!


The Bear Man

A Hunter shot one arrow after the next into a black bear and chased after it until the bear finally took the arrows out and told the man he couldn’t be killed and asked the hunter to come live with him.

This bear was a medicine bear and could talk and read people’s thoughts.  The hunter was worried the bear would hurt him but the bear told him he wouldn’t hurt him and there would be plenty to eat.

They came to a hole in the side of the mountain that widened as they entered.  It was not the bear’s home.  It was a meeting place for bear councils.  The other bears were alarmed at the presence of the hunter but the medicine bear told them it was only a stranger come to see them and he should be left alone.

The bear took the hunter to his home and rubbed his stomach and then his paws were full of chestnuts.  He did this many times for different kinds of food and both he and the hunter had plenty to eat.  The hunter stayed with him and his hair grew so long he was beginning to look like a bear.

One day the bear told him it was the day hunters would kill him. He told the hunter to put leaves over his remains after the kill.  The hunters entered the hole, killed the bear, and then realized the hairy creature was a hunter that has been missing for some time.  They  left with big chunks of bear meat and the hunter.  Before they left the hunter put leaves over the remains of the bear and as they were leaving the bear reappeared, shook off the leaves, and disappeared into the forest.

The hunter told the tribe to let him be by himself for seven day so he could shake off the bear nature and become a man again but his wife was so determined to see him that she went into him and took him home.  He never became like a man again.

Legend has it that if he had been allowed to be alone and fast for seven days he would not have kept the bear nature.

I found this story on on the online publication First People The Legends.


Life with The Bird and Word Man – Clyde Kessler

The next Blue Ridge Discovery Center Happening is this Friday! 

BRDC at Independence Farmers Market
Fri, June 6, 9:30am – 12:30pm
BRDC Web Calendar
Created by
More kid events.


Blue Ridge Mountain Bear Chase near The Blue Ridge Parkway and The Writing on the Wall…

My Artwork

fieldflowerscopyrightField of Flowers  Original Oil Painting has been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at  KENDALL KESSLER ART


naturalrhythmcopyrightNatural Rhythm   Original 30″x40″  Oil Painting   $2425

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART


I really do have flowers on the brain right now!


Today I found a wonderful Cherokee bear story about Autumn!

The Great Bear

A great black bear ,Nyah- gwaheh was terrorizing a village.  Children stayed out of the woods for fear of this animal. Four hunters set out to track down and kill Nyah- gwaheh.  The bear was said to possess magical powers and could cause its tracks to disappear.   The hunters had a magical dog that could see tracks days after they had vanished.

The four hunters were great hunters but one of them was fat and lazy.  He always wanted to take breaks.  On one break he reached into his pouch for a snack and found squirmy things in it which was a magical sign that the bear knew it was being hunted.

The bear ran and ran up the mountain to escape the hunters.  It was so huge that it was easy to track.  The forest was being torn up as it passed.  As the bear tired it stopped in its tracks to kill the annoying dog and one of the hunters succeeded in driving an arrow through it.

They cut the bear up and roasted it when one hunter noticed strange sparks in the darkness far below his feet.  They were no longer on the mountain but up in the air!  The powerful magic of the bear had led them to the world of the sky!

The dog started barking at the pile of bones and they came alive and the hunters chased the bear across the sky.

Legend has it that each autumn the hunters chase the bear across the sky and when it is killed the blood drips from the sky onto the trees.  The fat from the fire causes the grass to turn white.

I got this great story from the online publication, Cherokee Myths and Legends of The Black Bear

Life with The Word and Bird Man – Clyde Kessler

Sometimes my husband and I joke about how we got together.  It is rather unusual that a girl from McLean VA marries a naturalist poet from a town that is so small it could be on Hee Haws Salute the Small Town section of the show.

The latest quip is  I didn’t hold a poem to your head.  You could have said no.

My response is I didn’t see the puns on the wall.

Just kidding around!  I am very glad I married my mountain man!   He is the only one for me!

The Black Bear in The Blue Ridge Mountains near The Blue Ridge Parkway and Pleased to Sell another Original Painting!

My Artwork


smallflowerslarge (1)Small  Flowers Original Oil Painting has been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

This painting was sold today to a great Texas patron!  She is saving her money to buy a large one next!


mostly tulips big (1)Mostly Tulips     Original  16″x20″ Oil Painting     $670

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at     KENDALL KESSLER ART


summerpathbig (1)Summer Path at Rock Castle Gorge   Original 30″x40″ Oil Painting     $2425

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART

One of my favorite places on The Blue Ridge Parkway!

I really have flowers on my mind right now!

The Cherokee Legends of The Black Bear

The Cherokee Indians did not always inhabit the mountains of the North East.  Some historians claim they have only been here five hundred years after migrating from the upper Mid-West but their traditions, legends and myths date back for thousands of years.

The Cherokee, along with all the Northeastern tribes were comfortable living with the black bear. The southern Blue Ridge Mountains have many Cherokee myths concerning the black bear.  They have often seen the black bear as a spirit guide to their people and considered the white bear to be a special spirit.  A few are born with white fur. It was a significant part of their ceremonial or religious practices.

Joining The Black Bears

One tale is about a boy that would leave the Ani tsa gu hi’  tribe for a while and come back with significant amounts of hair on his body that was not previously there.  The tribe asked him what was going on and he said he was spending time with the black bears where there was much food.  He told his tribe they should all join the bears and live in peace with abundant food.

This tribe was part of the Cherokee tribe and they all decided to leave the Cherokees to live with the bears.  They told the others not to worry, that they would live forever with the bears.  There are Cherokees today that believe some of their people became black bears and their descendants are alive today.

I found this story on Cherokee Myths and Legends of The Black Bear online publication.

Life with The Word and Bird Man – Clyde Kessler

While we were on vacation I had a great time watching River Monsters!  I loved to fish when I was a child so it was great to watch Jeremy Wade catch huge fish!  In one episode he talked about the fishing method called noodling.  The fisherman puts his hand in the fish’s mouth and pulls it out of the water.  Considering the types of fish he catches, it is a dangerous sport.

My mountain man laughed when I told him I had never heard of noodling.  He said his Dad was doing that when he was a kid.  I replied that I bet it is new to people like me that are part of the mainstream culture, not isolated mountain people.  He said that was true.  His people were so far up the holler the creek ran dry trying to get out.

Just joking!  My husband’s great-great uncle George Kessler was one of three founders of Ferrum College and Clyde Kessler is the most knowledgeable person I have ever known.  Don’t trust those mountain stereotypes!